NewsCrime and Courts


Billings man found guilty for the murder of Laura Johnson

Posted at 9:20 AM, Mar 05, 2020

BILLINGS — A jury on Wednesday delivered a guilty verdict in the trial of Gregory Green; he was convicted of deliberate homicide in the death of girlfriend Laura Johnson, who was reported missing in September 2018.

Gregory Green, 53, learned of the guilty verdict Wednesday evening after an eight-day trial.

Green, 53 years old, was accused of killing 47-year-old Johnson, whose body still has not been found. Prosecutors said a neighbor's surveillance video captured Green hauling a body into a truck, although defense attorney called the evidence circumstantial.

Green was arrested in Nevada and has been in Yellowstone County jail since then.

The jury deliberated about two hours before rendering the verdict.

Sentencing is expected within 45 days.

(FEBRUARY 25, 2020) Prosecutors outlined their video evidence Tuesday morning in the opening moments of the trial of a Billings man accused of killing his girlfriend in September 2018, but defense attorneys disputed it proves anything.

Gregory Green, 53 years old, is charged with deliberate homicide in the death of his girlfriend Laura Johnson, 47.

Green sat stoic in Yellowstone County District Court Tuesday wearing a collared shirt and glasses. At one point, he turned to media cameras to smile.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito started the day making a case to the jury for why Green is responsible for Johnson’s death.

His team plans to place together puzzle pieces with the use of 24-hour surveillance video taken from across the street that has a direct shot of the home Green shared with Johnson.

Green was arrested last April in Nevada and brought back to Montana after prosecutors said he fled after authorities were notified of Johnson’s disappearance from Billings in September of 2018.

On Monday, a jury was selected and now this week’s testimony from the state’s witnesses will set the tone for this murder trial, all while Johnson’s body has yet to be found.

“The evidence in this case will show you that the defendant took great lengths to cover up his murder of his girlfriend, Laura,” said Twito.

The state is building its case with this video, calling it their "silent witness," even though the defense team counters that the video doesn't show the couple's front door in Billings Heights.

“But he can’t escape the silent witness,” said Twito. “He can’t escape that video surveillance.”

The state also says its evidence will show Green’s truck had Johnson’s blood in it and that trackers pinged her phone with Green as he moved about the valley a day after she disappeared. This is when investigators believe he dumped the body.

However, Green’s defense team, which is made up of public defenders Gregory Paskell and Blaine McGivern, will lean on Johnson’s history of heroin addiction, saying she had a rocky relationship with Green and fled the situation.

“There will be no witness that will testify to knowing what happened to Laura Johnson,” said McGivern. “Nobody knows. Nobody is going to testify that they saw Greg Green killing Laura Johnson."